Video poker is a game that is known to have a minimum benefit in favour of the online casino. It means that the gambler gets a maximum chance of winning by deploying the correct video poker strategy.
That kind of entertainment has been known since the 1970s and has become popular in online casinos due to two factors. Firstly, maximum opportunities to win, and secondly, your skills can influence the round outcome. In addition, you can win the jackpot! So if you like the mathematics of poker games but don’t like the pressure of being under pressure from your opponents, video poker online is the way to go.
Let’s find out what you should and shouldn’t do when playing video poker games online.
All variants of video poker share simple mechanics. The gambling product uses a standard deck, and each time you see a random 5 cards on the screen.
- You place a bet, press the Deal or Play button, then the game gives you another 5 cards.
- You decide which cards to keep and which to discard and replace with others. The following cards appear at random too.
- In the end, you have to put together a winning combination – flush, two pairs, three, etc. The size of the win depends on how potent the combination is.
The main thing in the strategy is to make the right decision, what to keep and what to throw away. The outcome of the round and ultimately the whole game depends on this.
These combinations, ranked by strength, range from most potent to weakest:
- Royal Flush
- Straight Flush
- Four of a Kind
- Full House
- Three of a Kind
- Two Pair
- Pair of Jacks or Better
The weaker the combination, the smaller the payout, but the easier it is to make. Conversely, the stronger the combination, the bigger the payout, but harder to hit.
Video Poker Basic Strategy
Just like regular poker, you can’t play this game on intuition using pure guesswork. Video poker requires some knowledge of statistics and probability theory. If you start playing without knowing the maths, you will lose a lot of money.
To have a consistent income and increase your chances of winning, you need to choose the best way of thinking. You obtain that skill when practice a lot.
If you are a novice, then online video poker strategy cards are able to help you choose the most profitable course of action. These guides tell you how many cards to keep and how many to replace with other cards. Here’s what they look like:
Let’s look at a basic strategy using an example:
- You get two queens of different suits, a seven, a six and a four of the same suit.
- You read the strategy table and find a combination that has the cards you received.
- In our example, the best combination is a pair because you got two queens.
- You could try to put together a Straight or Flush combination, using a seven, a six and a four. But the chances of that are not very good. Besides, you already have a winning pair.
- Hence, you discard the seven, six and four, and take 3 new cards.
So, your decision depends on what your prospects are for winning combinations. It would be best to distinguish between initial odds and odds after changing cards on the draw. The former are the odds of getting your poker hands at the start; the latter is the odds of complementing and getting a more winning sequence of cards.
Look at the table to see how often the correct combinations appear (aka initial odds):
Once you’ve changed cards, the odds vary depending on which sequence you want to collect and how many cards of it you already have in hand. See the table below for the odds of improving combinations.
Top Video Poker Tips
If you are a new player, it is good to practice video poker tips in titles with low variance. A good example would be Jacks or Better. This option offers more consistent winnings than others. If you have a small bankroll or little experience, that kind of game is a fun way to play safely.
Thanks to its uncomplicated payout table, Jacks or Better is good because it has the most straightforward strategy. The simpler the table, the easier it is to choose which cards to hold and discard.
Also, use video poker strategy cards to memorise the combinations and choose the best options. Once you’re used to making your own decisions in Jacks or Better, it’s easy to get accustomed to other forms of video poker machines with more complex gameplay.
DO: Select Tables with the Highest Return
Part of video poker basic strategy is picking a suitable game. Choose the gambling title whose paytable showing most lucrative options for pay out. Even a tiny change in the payout rules will result in significant changes in winnings.
- 9 / 6 Jack or Better = 99.54% back (9 coins for a full house, 6 coins for a flush)
- 9 / 5 JoB = 98.45%
- 8 / 6 JoB = 98.39%
- 8 / 5 JoB = 97.30%
In addition, the payout varies depending on the size of the bet placed. If you bet 1 coin each, the payout is minimum; if 5 coins each, the payout is maximum. For example, you can see in the poker rules table below that the royal flush at the maximum bet is noticeably larger than all the other prizes.
The table for Triple Double has the biggest reward for four of a kind. In other variants, wild card could provide an enormous win. Deuces Wild has the biggest payouts for 4 deuces and natural royal flush. Double Double has the biggest payouts among video poker games.
Be sure to check out the payout table for your chosen video poker game. All titles are available in a free free video poker. Open the free version and peruse the winnings list to see how lucrative the game offers the payout.
The higher the payback percentage, the better your chances of getting huge prizes.
DO: Bet max
As we have already figured out, it makes sense to go for the maximum bet. The higher the stake, the bigger the payout.
If you’re on a small budget, you may increase your bets only at certain times when you see that you have a chance for a more or less potent combination.
And it doesn’t have to be a royal flush. The payout for a royal flush is enormous, but this combination appears very rarely. Thus, you don’t have to worry about getting this payout. In addition, there are other prizes besides it, and the total is much bigger than the royal flush jackpot.
Keep in mind the probabilities of the combinations appearing and make bets that have the best chance of paying off the winnings.
DO: Practice as much as possible
Be sure to use the video poker demo version. With the free demo, you can learn the details of the gambling product and build the best strategy for playing for real money.
The demo version is the same as the paid version. The only difference is that you use virtual currency placed on the balance of the gambling product. That is, you don’t deposit your money, but you don’t withdraw your winnings either.
As in any business, you have to practice more to do better. With a demo, you get used to making quick decisions that lead to optimum results. You understand the frequency with which combinations appear and what to count on when holding and discarding cards.
You can use odds, hand and bankroll calculators. These help you make quicker decisions, and you’ll be able to do without the help in the future.
DON’T: Rush your play
An intelligent strategy for video poker means that you need to keep a clear head. Just as in a card or slot machine, you should think soberly and not succumb to greed, adrenaline or emotions. Don’t be in a hurry! The more you rush, the worse your results will be.
Please, never rashly change your bets and cards without an elaborated plan. Video Poker is a skill game that requires you to think strategically and tactically. Stay calm and decide soberly, and you will be able to cash in on the game steadily.
DON’T: Play when tired or overexcited
Don’t play when you feel tired, anxious or frustrated. Being depressed affects your decision-making ability. Fatigue prevents you from thinking straight, while the adrenaline of video poker heightens anxiety. Consequently, you may be tempted to win quickly, discard the wrong cards, or get too upset about losing.
It would be best if you played in the right frame of mind and with the main aim of relaxing. The game should always remain a pleasure.
DON’T: Use any ‘auto play’ tools
Do not use any ‘auto play’ tools because they make it impossible for you to track how your budget is deposited or spent. You can’t see your poker hand correctly, and you might miss out on a profitable one. Also, the spins go too fast, which makes you nervous and lose control of the gameplay.
You will not be able to use the best strategy and learn how to make decisions correctly. It is because the computer makes decisions for you, and they are not always the best options.
In addition, the auto mode includes a table with reduced payouts.
Video poker is a kind of casino game with immense possibilities. It has a maximum advantage in favour of the general visitor and a minimum benefit in favour of the casino. It means you can win at a much higher rate than in other casino games of chance. If you use the right strategy, the return can be up to 99.54%!
In addition, the game develops your mathematical thinking. You can get significant winnings thanks to your skills. Play video poker and win!